Keeping and Storing Detailed Business Records

Keeping and Storing Detailed Business Records

Published: September 01, 2022

As a well-informed entrepreneur, you know that detailed and organized record keeping is part of the business of owning a business. You need to do this for multiple reasons: financial planning, legal compliance, tax preparation, and understanding how well your business is doing overall. But which documents do you need to keep, and how should you store them? Here are some things to know about keeping detailed business records.

Business Records You Should Keep and Track

Some of the types of records every entrepreneur should keep include:

  • Gross receipts (all income, including register tapes, bank deposit stubs, receipt ledgers, invoices, and 1099-MISC forms)
  • Purchase information (all materials required to offer a product or service, such as proof of payment, register tape receipts, credit card receipts and statements, and invoices)
  • Non-purchase expenses (any business expenses that are not direct purchases; you should keep the same document types for these as for purchase expenses)
  • Travel, transportation, gift, and entertainment expenses (for the purpose of deducting them from your tax obligations) 
  • Assets (all the property and items you use to run your business; you should track asset purchases, how they are used, any upgrades made, when you sold or stopped using them, their original value vs. depreciations, and any related deductions you’ve taken)

Ways To Store Business Records

Half the battle of keeping your records organized is knowing how to store them. Before the arrival of the internet, business owners kept paper documents in boxes or filing cabinets. Today, most businesses can operate far more nimbly with digital records using cloud storage and cloud backup.

Digital Records vs. Paper Records

The US Chamber of Commerce recommends that business owners keep paper records of things like passwords, contracts, licenses and permits, financial documents, tax records, business documents, and your company goals and values. For everything else, there are many good reasons to opt for cloud storage:


  • Physical disasters, such as fires, tornados, hurricanes, and floods, can destroy paper documents
  • Documents stored in a cloud can be easily shared and accessed from any location
  • Cloud storage can be used to archive thousands of documents without taking up physical space in your home or business

Learn Best Record-Keeping Practices With Next Level Northwest

Enrolling in a business accelerator program and working one-on-one with a business coach is an excellent way for entrepreneurs to learn about effective record keeping. If you own a small business in the Northwest Chicagoland area and are ready to accelerate your business growth with coaching, consider applying for admission to our business accelerator program with Next Level Northwest.  

Next Level Northwest is a business acceleration public-private partnership serving the Northwest Chicagoland region. We support regional and local businesses through collaborative and innovative initiatives to help grow the economy. Download our Program Overview PDF here

Ready to take your business success to the next level and become a Next Level Northwest graduate? Download and prepare your application following this process today!